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Simon leads the Sport Coaching and HPE teams in the School of Sport and Recreation at AUT, with his main area of applied research focused on enhancing young people’s experiences of organised sport. His current research focus has been on some of the issues associated with the costs of ‘early specialisation’ in sport, the Sport NZ coach developer initiative, the associations between ‘free’ or ‘risky’ play and organised sport participation in the primary school-aged years, accessibility of sport for all, and the modification of sporting structures to take into account growth and maturation.
Simon and colleagues have built a programme of youth sport research and he is currently supervising 8 postgraduate students studying under the broad umbrella of youth development. He is a member of the International Play Association, and sat on the Steering Group for the Sport NZ funded youth sport culture change project 'Good Sports', implemented by Aktive Auckland.